The contraceptive mandate has broad support. The Trump administration’s moves to weaken it do not.
Coverage of the contraceptive mandate — the Obama-era requirement that employer health insurance cover birth control without a copay — has framed it as a contentious, hot-button issue. But a recent survey shows that birth control access has broad support among American voters — and the Trump administration’s new exemptions to the mandate are far more controversial.
In a survey of 1,058 registered voters conducted in late November by the polling firm PerryUndem, large majorities of respondents supported access to birth control as a general matter. Ninety-six percent of respondents said they supported women having access to contraception. Ninety percent said it was an important aspect of women’s ability to control their bodies, lives, and futures, and 78 percent said it was part of basic health care for women. Seventy-seven percent of those polled did not think of birth control as a controversial issue, and 90 percent said it was not a religious issue for them. Previous polling on birth control has yielded similar results; a 2016 Gallup poll, for example, found that 89 percent of Americans think contraception is morally acceptable.
A majority of respondents — 71 percent — supported the mandate that employers offer copay-free insurance for birth control. This is in line with other polling on the subject — a poll conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation in June found that 68 percent of people, including 81 percent of Democrats, 68 percent of independents, and 54 percent of Republicans, supported the mandate.